By Claudia Assis, MarketWatch
Walt Disney Co. stock rose to a record on Wednesday and notched its biggest one-day gain in seven months after news its newly launched Disney+ had attracted millions of subscribers in one day.
Disney (NYS:DIS) gained 7.3% to close at $148.72, an all-time high for the stock using data going back to January 1972 — which was the year some very forgettable Disney movies such as “The Biscuit Eater” were made.
It gave back some of its gains on Thursday amid broad equity market weakness.
Disney stock was the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) and in the S&P 500 index (S&P:SPX) on Wednesday. It was also the largest one-day increase for the shares since April 12.
Disney+, with its trove of Disney classics, princess pictures, preteen treasures and of course successful franchises such as Star Wars and Marvel movies, has attracted 10 million subscribers one day after its debut, Disney said Wednesday.
That was “eye popping” and “considerably higher” than many on Wall Street expected, Dan Ives at Wedbush said in a note.
“This speaks to the 1-2 punch of success that (Disney Chief Executive Bob) Iger and Disney have coming out of the gate with unmatched content and a massive brand/distribution that makes the House of Mouse a legitimate streaming competitor on Day One” to Netflix Inc.
Netflix (NAS:NFLX) shares closed 3% lower on Wednesday, and were up 1.5% on Thursday.
Netflix last month announced a net addition of 6.77 million subscribers in its third-quarter earnings, but projected 7.6 million additions in the fourth quarter, fewer subscriber additions than Wall Street had expected. Netflix has about 60 million subscribers.
Disney’s goal of having 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers in five years could be fast-forwarded by two years at this pace, Ives said.
Shares of Disney are up 35% this year, which compares with gains of around 23% and 19% for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the same period.